Some people are born to the play the game of hockey, while others are born to coach it.
Kevin and Kyle Furze were born to do both.
The call to coaching was always in their blood, it was inevitable that some day they would find their way behind the bench. They were students of the game, always eager to learn.
The Furze brothers learned from a very young age the importance of giving back and the impact that the game of hockey could have in their lives on and off the ice.
The call to coaching is personal, everyone that steps behind the bench has their reasons, Kevin and Kyle Furze are sharing their journey together. Their collective path in game as players has led them to this point in their lives. Simply put, the Furze brother’s want to make a difference in the lives of their players, they want to give back to the game that has given them so much over the years.
“Coaching to me has become a lot like my playing days,” said Kevin Furze.
“The rink has always been an escape from whatever stresses I come across throughout the day.”
“Being able to walk in the building and leave all my worries at the door and having something to look forward to is empowering,” said the new Head Coach of the Harrison Trimble Trojans.
“Coaching is a way to give back to the high school that did so much for me when I was a student athlete and ultimately to have some fun in the process,” said Kyle Furze.
The Furze boys will never forget the sacrifices their parents made for the game of hockey.
“Growing up our mother and father were always very supportive in us trying out for the best team possible, even if it meant they had to sacrifice they’re own finances, I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities its given us in the game,” Kyle Furze said.
“I still remember growing up seeing my dad work all hours of the night to be able to pay our fees and equipment. Not realizing then how much went into giving us the chance to compete. To this day can’t thank them enough for everything they did to see us happy. No matter what the outcome of tryouts or games they were always proud and supportive.”
“Our parents sacrificed trips, new vehicles, a bigger house and many other things to give Kyle and I every opportunity possible to be successful in the sport.”
All the sacrifices their parents made were never lost on them. If anything it helped solidify and define their path in the game.
“Being older now and seeing more of the financial side of hockey has been eye opening to say the least. Having to pay for two kids playing provincial hockey must have been a huge financial burden on our parents but they never let us know it,” said Kevin Furze.
Kyle and Kevin share an unparalleled passion for the game. Hockey was an outlet for both of them. The hard working talented duo never had trouble finding the back of the net. They were gritty skilled two-way wingers, great teammates and leaders on their respective teams. They took great pride in playing the game the right way no matter what.
Sadly, Kevin and Kyle lost their father Darren two years ago.
“I remember speaking to my dad a few months before he passed away, as I was planning my move back to Moncton from Halifax.”
“I told him I was interested in coaching and when I moved back that I wanted to bring Kyle along with me.”
“You could tell Dad was extremely proud.”
“He would be so happy to see his boys behind the bench. He was the kind of man who would give the shirt off his back for anyone he cared about, so seeing Kyle and I giving back to the hockey community that raised us, is something that would definitely have him smiling down on us.”
“I think that if my dad could see Kevin and I on the bench today it would give him a sense of accomplishment seeing us giving back to the hockey community that gave so much to us growing up.”
What makes the Furze brother’s journey into coaching so special is not only their passion for the game, but their focus on growth and development of their players.
“Having a safe space for the kids to be free to express themselves and leave the stress of life at the door, is extremely important to me. Being a coach through the pandemic is tough, but I try and remind our players that we are so fortunate to be together and playing the sport we love,” Kevin Furze who took over the Head Coaching duties at HTHS this season.
The life lessons on and off the ice that Kyle and Kevin Furze have learned in the game are never ignored. No matter how painful it is to talk about the young coaches always bring their experiences to the forefront.
“I’ve spoken out many times about personal battles with mental health and make sure every guy knows that I am always there to listen and talk if they need anything. I also make sure they know that the offer always stands even long after they’ve played their final game for me,” said Kevin Furze.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that everyone fights their own battles wether they speak up about them or not, but having a safe space to get away motivates me to offer up the same space to the players,” he added.
“For me coaching is something I’ve always wanted to do to hopefully make an impact on somebody’s life after hockey, like so many of my coaches and mentors have done for me growing up that shaped me into the person I am today,” confessed Kyle Furze.
“Coaching to me is far more than the game of hockey. I want to see every kid succeed in whatever they chose to do in life,” said Kevin Furze.
“It means the world to be able to be sharing the same ice as these kids. Every day I’m with them I’m learning more and more about each of them. Some players take a while to warm up and get comfortable and some guys are comfortable right away. I’m so privileged to be able to not only mentor them, but have them mentor me.”
“I had a lot of nerves coming into my first season as a head coach. I’m so proud to say every single person in our room has made it far easier than I ever could have imagined,” said the young Head Coach.
“Once the season is over I hope that each player learns that there’s more to hockey then wins and losses and at the end of the day it’s about being the best brother you can be for your teammates and lifelong friends no matter where they end up,” said a reflective Kyle Furze.
“I hope every player sees how important giving back really is,” said Kevin Furze.
Today’s game has drastically changed, so has the world of coaching. It’s refreshing to see two young coaches that are so approachable when it comes to their players. There’s no question Kevin and Kyle Furze understand the true meaning of coaching, the true meaning of giving back.
As they say coaching is a true calling for some.